Tunisia bourse falls moderately on reopening after attack

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Tunisian stock prices fell moderately in thin trade early on Monday as the market reopened after Friday's attack on a holiday resort which killed 39 people.

The attack is expected to slow Tunisia's economy and hit reserves by damaging its tourist industry, a major source of foreign currency. Tour operators are evacuating thousands of foreign holidaymakers. But the modest scale of the stock market's fall suggested investors were not panicking.

The main Tunisian equity index was down 0.8 percent in the opening minutes. Before the attack, it was trading near record highs because of hopes for faster economic growth, and after elections in late 2014 led to the formation of a coalition government with a big majority in parliament.

The Tunisian dinar also dropped moderately on Monday. It fell as much as 1.1 percent in early trade but then rebounded to stand about 0.6 percent lower at 1.9546 to the U.S. dollar. The Tunisian central bank has in the past supplied dollars when needed to prevent sharp moves of the currency.

After the Bardo museum attack in Tunis last March, which killed 23 people, the Tunisian stock market immediately fell 2.5 percent, but it began recovering the next day and regained its pre-attack level within three weeks.

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